The Saint George Palace is an historic building in the city of Rennes. Formerly an abbey residence, it was built in 1670 to replace a much older abbey building that stood on the same site. The Benedictine Abbey of Saint George was forced to close in 1792 during the French Revolution and the property was seized by the government. Since 1930 the building has been listed as a monument historique of France.LocationSaint George Palace, at 2 rue Gambetta, is situated east of the city centre in the Thabor-Saint Hélier quarter of Rennes. The front garden and main façade face south and the building lies very near the north bank of the Vilaine river, and is within sight while travelling north along rue Jean Janvier. It is served by the Métro station République.HistoryIn 1032, Duke Alain III of Brittany founded the Benedictine abbey of Saint George on behalf of his sister Adèle, a Benedictine nun who became the convent's first abbess. The abbey thrived for several centuries.Magdelaine de la Fayette was the 38th abbess, holding this position from 1663 to 1688. In the 1660s she commissioned the architect Pierre Corbineau to design a new building. She oversaw the demolition of the main abbey building, and presided over the construction of the new Palais Saint-Georges, built by Corbineau and assisted by another architect from Laval, Tugal Caris. The first two stones were laid on 24 March 1670; one by Charles-François de La Vieuville, Bishop of Rennes, and the other by Magdelaine de la Fayette. The stones bore copper plates engraved with declarations in Latin. The first one read: In the name of Jesus the Most High, the most illustrious Lord Charles François de la Vieuville, bishop of Rennes, was present at the inception of this house, and blessed it, and greatly desired true peace for all the spouses of Jesus Christ who were to dwell in it. 24 March 1670. The second stone's copper plate was engraved with the inscription: With the favour of God, the greatest and best, Lady Magdelaine de la Fayette, most celebrated for ancestry and virtues, undertook and initiated with singular zeal the renovation of this house, which was collapsing on account of age, from its foundations into a more splendid form. 24 March 1670.
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